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Henderson Alternative Strategies (HAST) offers access to niche and specialist investments, which are otherwise hard to buy, aiming to outperform listed equity markets over the course of a cycle with lower volatility.
James de Bunsen took over in 2014 as co-manager, shortly after the management of the trust was awarded to Henderson. James, and original co-manager Ian Barrass, who retired last year, then spent considerable time overhauling the portfolio and liquidating unwanted and unwise investments.
The trust offers access to unlisted opportunities in the private equity, hedge fund and property space as well as more mainstream investments selected for their cheap valuations or idiosyncratic risk and return profile.
Risk-adjusted returns have been on an upward curve, with the three-year Sharpe ratio on NAV top quartile for the AIC Flexible Investment sector, according to Morningstar data, and the trust used the diversification benefits of its wide universe to outperform equities strongly in the down year of 2018.
The trust trades on a discount of 16%, having struggled to earn a re-rating despite the improved performance and new approach.
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